RICHMOND, Va. -- Joey Logano emerged improbably as the winner of a wild short-track shootout in the final laps of the Toyota Owners 400 on Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway. The victory is Logano's second this season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the other coming April 6 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Logano streaked into first place on the inside with four laps to go, while Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon and Brad Keselowski battled one another physically for the lead. Cup points leader Gordon finished second, with late-charging Kyle Busch third, Keselowski fourth and Kenseth fifth.
Kenseth, Keslowski and Gordon appeared poised to battle for the win following a restart with nine laps to go. Battling three-wide, Keselowski and Gordon both made contact with leader Kenseth, while Logano went low, passed them and drove away to victory.
"That's one of the wildest races I've seen with 10 laps to go," Gordon said.
The 400-lap, 300-mile race on the three-quarters-of-a-mile oval at RIR started wildly. Rookie phenom Kyle Larson grabbed his first Cup pole because qualifying was canceled Friday and he had the fastest practice time. But Larson's tenure as race leader Saturday did not last even to the first turn.
At the drop of the green flag, Larson drove high, perhaps to battle front-row mate Keselowski to the first turn.
When Larson moved back down, he spun from contact with Clint Bowyer. Bowyer might have been the villain here last fall, but it was difficult to blame him for Larson's spin, because he was only trying to fill the space the rookie left for him at the bottom.
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